This Instant Pot Tomato Risotto shows the best way to make risotto - any risotto - in the Instant Pot. The tomatoes are roasted with a little balsamic vinegar for extra flavor.
Instant Pot risotto means no more hovering over the stove, gradually stirring in hot broth. Just stir once at the end. Sooo easy!
Updated July 13, 2022
Have you purchased an electric pressure cooker only to have it still in the box, because you don't have a clue what to do with it? Well, you have a lot of company.
I admit that I did unpack mine. But then I slid it onto a shelf in the pantry, where it sat for a very long time. Eventually, I started cooking my beans in it. Then, when I contracted to write a cookbook, my editor blithely announced that I would include a chapter for the Instant Pot. (ACK!!) So, I dragged it out and got to work. Two years and many recipes later, my favorite no-fail recipe is still my Instant Pot Risotto.
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Why Instant Pot Risotto?
There are 3 excellent reasons for using your Instant Pot to make risotto.
#1. Electric Pressure Cookers provide moist environments for cooking food.
This is the perfect environment for risotto. Seriously, you'll swear that someone's nonna slaved all day to make it.
#2. Traditional risotto recipes are needy, requiring you to ladle hot broth over rice several times.
Instant Pot risotto eliminates all that co-dependent nonsense, freeing you up to do something else while it cooks.
#3. If it's summer, and it's hot outside, it's great to cook something that won't add much heat to the kitchen. A pot of simmering broth is the last thing you may want.
What Other Cooking Methods Are Used to Make Risotto?
Using my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker is only the most recent method I've used for making risotto. If you don't have an electric pressure cooker, here are the other ways to make risotto.
1 - Traditional Stove-Top Risotto Method
2 - Slow Cooker Risotto
3 - Baked Risotto
4 - Make Cauliflower Risotto (Instead of Using Rice)
There aren't a lot of ingredients to this risotto, so each ingredient needs to shine.
- Yellow onion
- Arborio risotto rice - don't be tempted to use long grain rice. Arborio rice, a short grain rice, is grown specifically for making risotto. It contains a starch that promotes the all-important creamy texture.
- White wine - there's no reason to use your good wine. An everyday dry wine is fine, such as sauvignon blanc or a pinot grigio. Their light flavor means the wine won't dominate the dish in any way. And the crispness provides great contrast to the creamy rice.
- Vegetable broth - I use 1 teaspoon of Vegetable Better Than Bouillon bouillon paste for every cup of broth called for, and dilute it in hot water.
- Roasted Tomatoes - cocktail or compari tomatoes are the perfect size, but either cherry or grape tomatoes are fine. Roasting them intensifies the flavor of the risotto, and can be done up to a week ahead.
- Fresh basil
- Grated Parmesan cheese - if you want to keep this risotto dish vegetarian, look for a Parmesan cheese that uses a vegetable rennet. If you have time, grate your own cheese. Pre-grated has cellulose added as an anti-caking agent, which mutes the flavor of the cheese.
Pro Tip #1: If you use bouillon paste for a recipe calling for vegetable broth, know that bouillon paste is saltier than regular vegetable broth, and your dish may not require any additional salt.
Pro Tip #2: If you prefer unrefined rice, Arborio is also available as a brown rice. However, the starch content is lower than that in the refined white version, and won't be as creamy.
Before starting, roast the tomatoes using this recipe. This can be up to 1 week ahead.
Step 1 (10 minutes)
Sauté and add the wine. Select the SAUTE function on your electric pressure cooker, using medium heat. Melt the butter in the inner cooking pot, and stir in the onion. Sauté for 3 minutes, until slightly softened.
Add the rice to the pot, and stir with a wooden spoon to coat. If you have a risotto spoon, go dig it out! Sauté for 3 - 5 minutes to lightly toast the rice.
Pour in the wine and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes, until the wine is absorbed into the rice.
Step 2 (5 minutes)
Add the broth. Add the water and bouillon paste, or vegetable broth, and salt. If using vegetable broth instead of bouillon paste, add an addition ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a gentle simmer.
Step 3 (12 minutes)
Pressure cook. Turn the electric pressure cooker off, and lock the lid into place. Select MANUAL and cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 6 minutes.
Allow for a natural release of 5 minutes, and then perform a quick release.
Remove the lid.
Step 4 (2 minutes)
Add the remaining ingredients. The risotto will have a layer of liquid on top, which will quickly absorb. Stir in the Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes, basil and cheese.
What Are Some Other Variations of This Risotto?
This Instant Pot risotto, right up until you stir in the charred tomatoes, basil and cheese, is the perfect foundation for any risotto. Make it your own! The possibilities are almost endless.
Make it with mushrooms.
Sauté mushrooms with the onions on the stove until caramelized, and stir them in at the end.
Kick it up with seasonal veggies in place of tomatoes.
Stir in baby spinach leaves at the end in place of basil. The charred tomatoes can be optional.
Roast seasonal veggies to stir in at the end - asparagus in spring, butternut squash (and fresh sage!!) in autumn.
Simplify with garlic and herbs only.
Mince and stir in the herbs at the end. If you want to magnify the garlic flavor, roast a head of garlic in the oven, coated with oil and wrapped in foil. Squeeze out the amount of cloves you want, and slightly mash in the inner pot with the toasted rice before adding the broth.
Uses For Leftover Risotto
Reheat with a little extra water to achieve the creaminess you want.
Make risotto cakes! This is the recipe I use on the Food Network, sometimes without the corn.
Want more vegetarian and vegan dish ideas? I can help you. I have three newsletters for different topics: 1) Vegetarian Recipes, 2) Vegetarian Meal Plans, and 3) Vegetarian Tips for helping you to move to a more vegetarian diet. Choose which newsletters are most relevant to your lifestyle and you'll also get my 5 SECRETS TO FUSS-FREE VEGETARIAN DINNERS.
Easiest Instant Pot Tomato Risotto
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
- 1 ½ cups Arborio (risotto) rice
- ¼ cup white wine
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Better Than Bouillon bouillon paste, see notes
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, optional
- 3 Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes, or 6 halves
- ¼ cup julienned basil leaves
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, find one using vegetable rennet
- Select the SAUTE function on your electric pressure cooker, with medium heat. Melt the butter in the inner cooking pot, and stir in the onion. Sauté for 3 minutes, until slightly softened.
- Add the rice to the pot, and stir with a wooden spoon to coat. If you have a risotto spoon, go dig it out! Sauté for 3 - 5 minutes to lightly toast the rice.
- Pour in the wine and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes, until the wine is absorbed into the rice.
- Add the water and bouillon paste, or vegetable broth, if using, and salt. If using vegetable broth instead of bouillon paste, add an addition ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a gentle simmer.
- Turn the electric pressure cooker off, and lock the lid into place. Select MANUAL and cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 6 minutes. Allow for a natural release of 5 minutes, and then perform a quick release. Remove the lid.
- The risotto will have a layer of liquid on top, which will quickly absorb.
- Stir in the Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes, basil and cheese. Serve immediately.